Winter blues got you bad? If you're tucked up in a duvet feeling sorry for yourself why not take the opportunity of having some spare time to think about organising your search for an internship. Here are some tips from me, a current student on my year in industry, to help you secure an internship!
1. Do: speak to your career service teamIf you are feeling a bit clueless or need a bit of a nudge to start an application, this is probably the best first step for your internship search. Make some time and book an appointment. Whether this is for general internship advice, help with collating a top CV, or learning useful interview techniques, the time you spend will be beneficial in the long run and will send you in the right direction.
2. Do: be clear on the rolesMake sure you are applying for a role that you want to do or gain relevant experience in. A year in industry allows you to learn about a career in that specific sector, so it only makes sense for you to apply for an internship that relates to the career path you intend to take.
3. Do: research and prepareThis relates to the whole process of your application; whether you are preparing for a phone interview, an online video interview or an assessment centre - be prepared. You want to stand out, so do not be scared to go that extra mile showing that you really have put effort into your application, and have a passion for that role.
4. Do: be organised!Organisation is pretty much essential when trying to secure an internship. You not only have to be applying to countless companies, but you have to balance this with your studies and social life. Being ahead of the game is going to be less stressful and gives you more time to let your hair down, as well as making sure you can attend that fancy dress social on a Wednesday night.
5. Do: keep track of your application statusThis leads to my next piece of advice, keeping track. When you have started to apply, make a document where you record each application and update the progress of it. Remember to include contact details! In some cases it will be you calling the company to see the status of your application (don’t be scared to), so having the information there just makes it a bit easier.
6. Don't: give upInternships are very (very) competitive. If something is not meant to be and you are unsuccessful, do not let this stop you to continue applying to other roles. Rejection is a bittersweet thing, so take the step back as an opportunity to leap forward. Make sure to ask for feedback and really take in what is said, and then apply this at your next opportunity. Just stay determined and do not let a pushback really push you off the track of applying.
7. Don't: leave thingsto the last minuteIf you are not prepared, it will be very obvious. Make sure to apply for internships before the deadline, because leaving it to the day before can be extremely risky. Technology can sometimes have bad days. If you leave preparation to the last minute when it comes to an interview, you not only are faced with the factor of missing out on the current opportunity, but it will also really stand out to the assessors. Especially when other candidates have prepared for what seems like weeks! Be organised, be prepared and most importantly do not give up! Securing an internship really opens up doors to different pathways after university. You will definitely thank yourself for all the hard work, because hard work definitely does pay off.
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